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 A Barrel Of Laughs

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Number of posts : 773
Registration date : 2007-04-26

A Barrel Of Laughs Empty
PostSubject: A Barrel Of Laughs   A Barrel Of Laughs EmptyMon 23 Nov - 9:37:34

A Barrel of Laughs
Well it’s come to my attention that the accounts of our various journeys and perils have a noticeable omission: Hardly any mention of the hero whose exploits have kept us alive on countless occasions; whose endeavours and decisiveness have time and again propelled us out of danger; whose courage and determination, skill and bravery have brought us through peril and terror. Of course it’s mighty* Thud here demonstrating that I too can record our exploits as well as the next man.

*And modest

Sar and Corbyn were both injured, and Skarl, well she’s a girl isn’t she? So they needed to rest up and recuperate on board after our little skirmish. We dust off some of the sand blocking the west wing using the jets but then it’s bye bye time for my poor delicate companions. The amazing Perci and I decided to stand watch in manly fashion, because no one messes with Thud right? Or if they do they live to regret it, or maybe not, if you follow what I mean. Hmmm, this whole making yourself understood with language is a little trickier than I thought….

I stood proudly on top of the ship with a good view of our desert surroundings: No way anyone could get past me from this vantage point. The amazing Perci conjured up a hiding place somewhere down below, no use to anyone down there of course but then he is a bit of a wimp. Well whilst Skarl did her lady with the lamp bit and Sar locked himself in his quarters (Paranoid much?) I pretty much kept control of the situation.

After quite a long time it was getting a bit dark and the temperature began to drop. I suddenly noticed that our navigation lights had failed. Typical. The amazing Perci joined me and we clambered across the hull to see what we could see looking in the bridge windows. Somewhat worryingly it appeared that only emergency power was operating, honestly what had those three gone and done now? Perci assured me that he’d put plenty of 50ps in the meter whatever he meant by that, I’m not sure, these supercilious intellectual types like to dazzle with their wit, he’s asking for a good punch in the throat if you ask me.

Well I did what any rational right thinking hero would do in these circumstances. I chucked a grenade randomly, showing that desert who’s in charge around here. That’s the kind of decisive action that’s called for when the chips are down, there’s a lot of nonsense talked about ‘thinking things through’ and ‘weighing up options’, there’s no alternative to decisive and preferably destructive action if you ask me. That patch of sand will always remember the day it messed with the mighty Thud.

So whilst me and the amazing Presto had it all under control, what do you think those idiots inside were up to? Well I found out later, so to avoid confusion I’ll catch you up with what was going on in there. Very little is the short answer. Skarl and Corbyn suddenly found themselves trapped in the medbay. Scanning the ship using the ships internal cameras they discover that unwanted guests had somehow managed to slip past Perci, no doubt he had nodded off.

One humanoid was on the bridge, its outline distorted somehow. In engineering many figures were industriously at work on our systems. The entrance to sickbay was blocked by hard packed sand. Corbyn accessed an internal conduit running past the medical facility and the pair of them rather than risk any hard physical work forcing the door crawled away from their imprisonment.

At least they were aware that something was going on, when they found Sar D’ Trakk the child slayer, he was fast asleep, on no, sorry, he was meditating (which is psyker for fast asleep). He was also sealed in by sand. What they needed here was a practical approach involving grenades but of course they don’t think like that the poor fools. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You can get a lot further with a kind word and a grenade than with a kind word alone.

Meanwhile it was clear to me and Perci, abandoned on the outside that the ships airlocks were sealed or blocked somehow, and try as we might we couldn’t find any access hatches that worked. Inside the three less important crew persons had established that the intruders were setting up our systems to generate power for them, they couldn’t shut off any systems or do anything to prevent what was going on it seemed, I mean, why did we even bring these guys along? One job!

Perci and I looked into the bridge windows again and this time found ourselves eye to, well, face with the intruder on the bridge. The creature was humanoid but surrounded by a cloud of orbiting insectoids that account for the continually changing outline we had seen earlier. Perci started doing card tricks to distract it, beyond we could see the others dropping from a ceiling panel onto the bridge floor. The creature clearly had minimal intelligence as it was fascinated by Perci’s sleight of hand.

D’Trakk tried to use bridge controls to isolate the opposition, stop what they were doing, lock them out of the ships computer, blow them out of the airlocks, cut off their life support, depress them with Vogon poetry, anything we could think of.* All this to no avail. One job! I would have been more upset but actually Perci was really very good and I was enjoying his trickery immensely.

*Which in reality was precious little

Eventually Sar had all the ships internal doors open, just not any of any importance. I felt impotent, unable to pass any of my grenades to my flimsy comrades inside. I felt sure that these would have at least got them through to the enemy in engineering without damaging the ship’s integrity or vital systems. Then the cargo bay door was opened, but, it too was jammed solid with sand.

Sar now pointlessly scanned the creature, no doubt thinking that knowing something about your enemy would be of help. Amateur. Did he need to scan that robot before he killed its tiny operator? No. For all the good it will do us he discovered it was a match to some of the bio signs we had on file from the planet Helga in the Yakshar system where we had enjoyed a recent visit.

Having confronted the cargo bay situation we caught up with Skarl who was gathering up vac suits prior to an attack on the bridge sentinel. She was teleporting from the other side of the blocked airlock using her psychic powers. Perci and I made for the west wing of the complex, after all it would take us an hour or more to get through all that sand.

We checked it out: More sand creatures, nearly a score of them, working frantically on a small vessel, its landing claws still clamped into a small section of our ship’s hull. Clearly we had brought a passenger with us. We also discovered a room containing crates of chemicals, many of them obviously volatile. A plan formed in my mind. We had shared concerns with Skarl that these creatures might be resistant to conventional weapons and perhaps fire was the right weapon. If we rolled a couple of barrels into the mass of creatures and detonated, high jinks would ensue.

We didn’t need to await the others or consider unduly; our way was clear and the means to detonate the barrels equally so: By lucky chance I had twenty or thirty grenades with me, all bursting with an unspoken desire to fulfil their sole purpose. We rolled the barrels in at the strangely unresponsive group of aliens and the Amazing Perci hurled his grenade. I, being even more amazing had to go one better and throw two.

So now good news, bad news. The good news, the barrels exploded beautifully doing a lot of damage. The other good news, all our grenades worked perfectly. The marginally less good news, the second grenade that I lobbed slipped from my grasp and instead of the perfect parabola that I had carefully plotted, dropped marginally closer than I would have wished in an ideal grenade tossing scenario.

So it fell about 39 feet away from us, oops sorry, did I say feet, not totally comfortable with imperial measurements, I mean inches. ‘Wow that was close’ I remarked to the amazing Perci as I picked myself up and dusted myself down, but answer came there none. I looked everywhere but apart from his boots I could see little, it didn’t help that I was completely coated in a strange pink paste that seemed to be everywhere.

Then I started to find small pieces of flesh and bone that reminded me of the amazing Perci or at least parts of him, and it dawned on me that he may have foolishly failed to retire to a safe distance after throwing his grenade. Sadly I’m not always surrounded by top notch pros like myself.

Anyway, I gathered up anything that looked like it might have been an important part, and one or two others that might help make a good stock, my job made more difficult by several doves that appeared unexpectedly as I rooted through the gore and a couple of particularly fine specimens of a creature indigenous to his homeworld that I believe he had referred to as ‘rabbits’.

I rushed back to the ship with my precious cargo of bits and dropped it at the bay, scrambling over the hull with no thought of personal safety and attracting my comrades attention through the bridge windows, gesturing they should get quickly to the cargo bay.*

*Did I mention that our coms were down throughout these events? Probably should have.

My glimpse of events on the bridge showed that some foolhardiness had been going on, as Sar tried to reassemble the fragments of blood and bone that were once our comrade, he told me what had transpired since we left.

Sar had gathered up some alcohol from sickbay and splashed it around the humanoid insect swarm that sat crosslegged in the command chair, and then fired it. It did seem to cause a reaction at least and the flaming creature ran around the bridge for a bit whilst Corbyn took largely unsuccessful pot shots at it. When it went down Skarl blew a hole in its head, but we were reluctant to extinguish the blaze as the insects were clearly still moving.

Corbyn was busy with the fire extinguisher when I arrived on my errand of mercy and that is where we are now as Sar gives up his resuscitation efforts with a final shake of the head. The amazing Perci is no more after coming off second best in an argument with a grenade, I can only sorrowfully reflect on how the lack of adequate safety training in grenade protocols has needlessly deprived us of the star turn at our Christmas party.

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